Life’s ever changing ways

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Love Fest in Stuttgart, Germany

Love Fest in Stuttgart, Germany

So since my last postings (Which was a long ass time ago) We have been up to a lot. To recap I am a Floridian living in Stuttgart for the last 2 and a half years. I love it hear and the language, but the homesickness comes and goes (especially in winter). I finally had a chance last year to make it home for summer and spend a whole month there. It was great I felt like I had never left and the day to day activities were like going back in time. Skating, surfing, going from house to house of all my friends. Coffee shop hang outs and lots and lots of time in the sun.

When I finally came home, and after a couple weeks we realized we were expecting. Unfortunately it was going to come between my yoga Teacher Training with Tiffany Cruikshank. She is and probably always will be my yoga muse. My inspiration for yoga.

But… when does a baby happen at the right time? You try and fail and witness others who don’t try succeed unintentionally to start a family. Life works in funny ways.

Those 9 months were about figuring things out, floating and enjoying the last days of being an individual. Just like when I was home just floating on by skating, surfing and hanging out. With a baby you are a new person. You change in a way. You become a mother and your ideas , priorities, and life changes. It changes in a good way, but it takes time to understand this change.

We had our little bundle of joy on March 9th 2013. It was an amazing experience and it still is. His name… Finn Taylor Huth. He is now 4 and a half months old and is learning daily about this big world around him. He is starting to explore it more and more. Watching him change is amazing itself.

“Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change.”

My life here was getting hard. I was getting depressed because the new culture has proven to be hard. People are closed off here in the south of Germany. Making friends and friends that you really connect with was hard. I felt lonely a lot. Some how the world I live in now, although it’s the same, is better and full of friends and people and a constant partner in crime, although he is small and dependable on me he is my sunshine that I lack on this part of the world.

So this October we are going to do the Teacher Training with Tiffany, because change in life doesn’t need to change your success in following your dreams.

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What I’ve been up to this past year

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What I've been up to this past year

We have anew edition. This is Finn Taylor Huth. He is 4 and a half months today. More info to come…

How to: Make Colorful Snowflakes from Trash!

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Time to get in the holiday spirit. I already started my baking and cooking for a christmas party. Now lets move to my favorite part. Decorating. Inexpensively prefred. Check out theses colorful snowflakes.

Brought to you by Manmadediy.com by Chris

How to: Make Colorful Snowflakes from Trash!

created at: 11/23/2010

created at: 12/09/2011

The clever Michele of Michele Made Me shows you how to cut these intricate, colorful snowflake, created from something we all have way too much of already…   

Junk mail! It’s amazingly thrifty, and looks surprisingly colorful and non-advertisement-like when all sliced up.

Learn more about how it’s done at Michele Made Me

Can you walk around the world? This man did!

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Peace for the children of the world

“On August 18th, 2000, at 9:00 am, Jean Béliveau left Montreal, Canada. His goal is to walk around the planet to promote “Peace and non-violence for the profit of the children of the world”. He is travelling alone with a three-wheeled stroller that holds a bit of food, his clothing, a First Aid kit, a small tent and a sleeping bag.

Jean plans to walk across the continents, from North America to South America, then across to South Africa, up to Europe, then the Middle East, South and Eastern Asia, Australia, New Zealand and finally back to Canada.

This 11 years journey is in support of the United Nations proclamation: 2001-2010 – International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-violence for the Children of the World”

http://wwwalk.org/en/

http://wwwalk.org/en/portraits.html

LIFE AFTER THE WWWALK!

“And I thought it would be easy… I suppose I was being naïve as always… As I should have expected we have been overcome with a tsunami of requests for interviews with the media, book publishing, public speaking, etc. Each and all more fascinating than the next but taking all of our time. For the first 2 weeks, we were cooped up home with Jean talking on the phone or in a media studio speaking to listeners or viewers all over the planet. The third week was a bit less hectic with the media as the news of Jean’s return was fading gradually.It was really a terrific experience but we soon discovered that we were not able to deal effectively with all of it. We needed help, professional help and we have been lucky enough to find quality help rapidly. We are now in the process of transferring our files so the “after-walk” may be organized: public speaking, books, philanthropy, etc.On the other hand, there is a ton of things to be done at personal level. After such a long absence from Quebec, Jean has to get back in “the system”! Health Care card, Drivers licence and the likes have to be applied for.Unfortunately, we did not yet have time to update the photos on the website but we should get to it as soon as we can. We will also need new pages for the website as it looks that the “after-walk” will be quite busy with regard to Jean’s public appearances, book publication, etc. Until these new pages are online, we invite you to browse the LATEST NEWS regularly as it is there that you will find all information on Jean’s activities.”

Surviving the Holidays and Staying Healthy

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By Tiffany Cruikshank

In the world we live in everyone wants a quick, easy solution, well here you go. Want to stay healthy through the New Year? All you have to do is one (or two) simple things…

Just to put the disclaimer out there this may not be an easy task but the clarity and simplicity that it provides will make it easier for you to stick to it.

Phase 1 - So here you go, if you want to STAY healthy through the holidays first and foremost you must limit sugar, alcohol and bread. These three items are the biggest offenders for your metabolism and your energy level.  I recommend limiting it to just one day of the week, this will allow you to enjoy the yuletide festivities but it will also keep the festivities contained for damage control. Try not to go overboard though, be moderate. You might find that after doing it for a couple weeks you don’t want your day of indulgence. I know it’s hard to believe but once you feel what it’s like to feel really good you may not want to continue. But don’t think about that yet.

If you want to actually feel BETTER through the holidays then add in this second portion as well. If the first part was enough then stop reading now, or perhaps the first part was too daunting and you want to skip that part and just do the section below.

Phase 2 - Make sure you exercise daily, even if it’s just for 10 minutes. The most important thing is the frequency of your exercise rather than the duration. Your metabolism is like a fire and the best way to keep it going strong is to stoke it regularly. If you think you don’t have time that day, think again. Try 10 minutes of: jumping jacks or push ups and sit ups or if you do yoga try 10 minutes of sun salutations adding in triple chaturangas between and then holding handstand at a wall for 60 seconds and end with some push ups in wheel. Whatever you want that will get you going quickly will work, now’s not the time for anything fancy. Then change it up every couple days or just when you need to.

Happy Healthy Holidays!

Published December 6, 2011 at 4:30 PM

About Tiffany Cruikshank
Tiffany is the Acupuncturist and Yoga Teacher at the Nike World Headquarters in Portland, Oregon, runs 200 and 500 hour yoga teacher trainings and has been featured in various articles, video and print ads including ads for Nike and Lululemon. She travels the globe inspiring people all over the world to live their lives to the fullest and her book, Optimal Health For A Vibrant Life, is a 30 day detox for yogis.

For more info go to TiffanyYoga.com or checkout her Facebook page

12 Things Happy People Do Differently

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by Jacob Sokol of Sensophy

“I’d always believed that a life of quality, enjoyment, and wisdom were my human birthright and would be automatically bestowed upon me as time passed.  I never suspected that I would have to learn how to live – that there were specific disciplines and ways of seeing the world I had to master before I could awaken to a simple, happy, uncomplicated life.”
-Dan Millman

Studies conducted by positivity psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky point to 12 things happy people do differently to increase their levels of happiness.  These are things that we can start doing today to feel the effects of more happiness in our lives.  (Check out her book The How of Happiness.)

I want to honor and discuss each of these 12 points, because no matter what part of life’s path we’re currently traveling on, these ‘happiness habits’ will always be applicable.

  1. Express gratitude. – When you appreciate what you have, what you have appreciates in value.  Kinda cool right?  So basically, being grateful for the goodness that is already evident in your life will bring you a deeper sense of happiness.  And that’s without having to go out and buy anything.  It makes sense.  We’re gonna have a hard time ever being happy if we aren’t thankful for what we already have.
  2. Cultivate optimism. – Winners have the ability to manufacture their own optimism.  No matter what the situation, the successful diva is the chick who will always find a way to put an optimistic spin on it.  She knows failure only as an opportunity to grow and learn a new lesson from life.  People who think optimistically see the world as a place packed with endless opportunities, especially in trying times.
  3. Avoid over-thinking and social comparison. – Comparing yourself to someone else can be poisonous.  If we’re somehow ‘better’ than the person that we’re comparing ourselves to, it gives us an unhealthy sense ofsuperiority.  Our ego inflates – KABOOM – our inner Kanye West comes out!  If we’re ‘worse’ than the person that we’re comparing ourselves to, we usually discredit the hard work that we’ve done and dismiss all the progress that we’ve made.  What I’ve found is that the majority of the time this type of social comparison doesn’t stem from a healthy place.  If you feel called to compare yourself to something, compare yourself to an older version of yourself.
  4. Practice acts of kindness. – Performing an act of kindness releases serotonin in your brain.  (Serotonin is a substance that has TREMENDOUS health benefits, including making us feel more blissful.)  Selflessly helping someone is a super powerful way to feel good inside.  What’s even cooler about this kindness kick is that not only will you feel better, but so will people watching the act of kindness.  How extraordinary is that?  Bystanders will be blessed with a release of serotonin just by watching what’s going on.  A side note is that the job of most anti-depressants is to release more serotonin.  Move over Pfizer, kindness is kicking ass and taking names.
  5. Nurture social relationships. – The happiest people on the planet are the ones who have deep, meaningful relationships.  Did you know studies show that people’s mortality rates are DOUBLED when they’re lonely?  WHOA!  There’s a warm fuzzy feeling that comes from having an active circle of good friends who you can share your experiences with.  We feel connected and a part of something more meaningful than our lonesome existence.
  6. Develop strategies for coping. – How you respond to the ‘craptastic’ moments is what shapes your character.  Sometimes crap happens – it’s inevitable.  Forrest Gump knows the deal.  It can be hard to come up with creative solutions in the moment when manure is making its way up toward the fan.  It helps to have healthy strategies for coping pre-rehearsed, on-call, and in your arsenal at your disposal.
  7. Learn to forgive. – Harboring feelings of hatred is horrible for your well-being.  You see, your mind doesn’t know the difference between past and present emotion.  When you ‘hate’ someone, and you’re continuously thinking about it, those negative emotions are eating away at your immune system.  You put yourself in a state of suckerism (technical term) and it stays with you throughout your day.
  8. Increase flow experiences. – Flow is a state in which it feels like time stands still.  It’s when you’re so focused on what you’re doing that you become one with the task.  Action and awareness are merged.  You’re not hungry, sleepy, or emotional.  You’re just completely engaged in the activity that you’re doing.  Nothing is distracting you or competing for your focus.
  9. Savor life’s joys. – Deep happiness cannot exist without slowing down to enjoy the joy.  It’s easy in a world of wild stimuli and omnipresent movement to forget to embrace life’s enjoyable experiences.  When we neglect to appreciate, we rob the moment of its magic.  It’s the simple things in life that can be the most rewarding if we remember to fully experience them.
  10. Commit to your goals. – Being wholeheartedly dedicated to doing something comes fully-equipped with an ineffable force.  Magical things start happening when we commit ourselves to doing whatever it takes to get somewhere.  When you’re fully committed to doing something, you have no choice but to do that thing.  Counter-intuitively, having no option – where you can’t change your mind – subconsciously makes humans happier because they know part of their purpose.
  11. Practice spirituality. – When we practice spirituality or religion, we recognize that life is bigger than us.  We surrender the silly idea that we are the mightiest thing ever.  It enables us to connect to the source of all creation and embrace a connectedness with everything that exists.  Some of the most accomplished people I know feel that they’re here doing work they’re “called to do.”
  12. Take care of your body. – Taking care of your body is crucial to being the happiest person you can be.  If you don’t have your physical energy in good shape, then your mental energy (your focus), your emotional energy (your feelings), and your spiritual energy (your purpose) will all be negatively affected.  Did you know that studies conducted on people who were clinically depressed showed that consistent exercise raises happiness levels just as much as Zoloft?  Not only that, but here’s the double whammy… Six months later, the people who participated in exercise were less likely to relapse because they had a higher sense of self-accomplishment and self-worth

I love it when chicks rock the surfing scene!

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Great Article from Drift Srufing.eu

The Roxy Pro – Surf, Art and Music

July 05, 2011 | Words By: Roxy

For the first time in the history of professional surfing, Roxy brings together the world’s best women surfers and the elite women longboarders at the Roxy Pro, 11-17th July in Biarritz.

The ASP women’s world longboard event traditionally runs in Biarritz at this time, but in addition this year is a leg of the ASP women’s world tour, which assembles the top 17 women shortboard surfers from around the globe.

The Roxy Pro – Surf, Art and Music

The event offers a dream line-up including:

Stephanie Gilmore (Aus) – four-times World Champion, Sally Fitzgibbons (Aus) – World number 2 in 2010, French star Lee-Ann Curren (wildcard), as well as the exceptional ‘siren’ of noseriding Jennifer Smith (USA) and the double World Longboard Champion and surfing icon Kassia Meador (USA).

This pinnacle of women’s surfing also features an open, free public festival, that brings together surf, art and music. On the program is a huge, live, free concert to enjoy barefoot in the sand at the Port Vieux in Biarritz on July 16th. This year, Orange presents a tempting pop line-up with: Pendentif, Lilly Wood & The Prick and The Sounds… plus a DJ set from Estelle S.

Another feature is the ‘New Wave’ art exhibition, dedicated to Californian art. Bringing together original works by Californian artists inspired by surf culture and the ‘VENUS’ project which has mobilized dozens of artists around the fight against breast cancer.

Not forgetting the Quiksilver foundation space, which opens its charity shop and honours the Skeleton Sea collective, exhibiting an imposing Albatross made from discarded plastic collected on the beaches.

Lastly, the week will have a daily offering of free surfing lessons available to the public, demonstrations of tandem and canoe surfing, parties, rider signing sessions and the spectacular Biarritz
fireworks.

Got surfing on the mind

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Yoga in an Airplane?!

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Yeah thats right. Now is the time of the year for long hauls. For me a flight from Germany back to my home town Jacksonville, Florida. I am reallllyyyy excited, but I am dreading the 8-9 hour flight. It is alway dry and long and stuffy. Sitting the whole time is a no go unless I am laid back in 1st class (Which I am not). So I looked up some yoga ideas for an airplane ride.

Airplane yoga: 18 exercises for healthy flying

Don’t enjoy flying as much as you should? You’re tired at your destination? These 18 exercises will set you straight

By Charlotte Dodson (words and poses) and Louisa Seton (images) 9 September, 2011

plane yoga

Welcome to plane yoga. Breathe deeply now.

You can practice yoga anywhere, including when traveling on an aircraft.

By performing just a few simple moves, you give yourself a multitude of benefits: it will stretch you out, massage your internal organs, improve circulation and relieve anxiety you may experience before and during your flight.

Follow these next simple moves to keep you calm, refreshed and comfortable when traveling. It will enable you to stay limber, especially when sitting on a plane for long hours.

To feel energized and relaxed during your flight, participate in these healthy body shapes whilst seated or in the aisle. That way you’ll be able give more at your destination.

So here’s a start: Breathe deeply through your nostrils with your spine upright, belly active, and chin tucked gently into your throat. Do this for about five breaths. Remember to be kind, and not to force your breathing at any time.What follows are 18 exercises for a healthy flight.

In your seat:

1. Your anchor: Easy sitting, deep exhales (Sukhasana)

plane yoga

Keep your back straight.

Instruction: Sit cross-legged, close your eyes and bring your hands into a prayer position. Take a few long deep inhales, and sigh deeply when you exhale, to release any unwanted tension. After repeating a few times, concentrate on breathing naturally.Slowly begin to move your right hand (fingers face up) to the side as you exhale, following the movement with your eyes, and as you exhale, draw the hand to meet back into prayer at your chest.

Repeat the same on your left side and continue as slow as you can for five-10 rounds.

Benefits: Feelings of anxiety that are mental overloads can easily be dissolved by releasing an excess of built-up stress upon your exhalation breath, and keeping your mind anchored onto your breathing pattern. It relaxes you while you sit.

2. Neck release: Neck rolls

plane yoga

Be gentle now.

Instructions: On the edge of your seat, keep your spine upright and shoulders rolling back. Rest your hands lightly rest on top of your thighs. As you inhale, stretch your head back gently and on your exhale softly allow your head to rotate forwards.Keep this slow rotational movement all in one direction five times and then softly repeat in the opposite direction. 

Benefits: When sitting for long periods of time, create mobility into your upper body. We can carry a lot of tension in neck and shoulders.

3. Emotional release: Hands under armpits (Padadhirasana)

plane yoga

Close your eyes, if you wish.

Instruction: Sit cross-legged, place your arms across your chest and lock your hands under your armpits. Keep your thumbs pointing upwards. Raise your shoulders without cramping your neck muscles. With your chin tucked and lips closed, breathe deeply and slowly through both nostrils for three-11 minutes.Benefits: This pose promotes a calm mind. You’ll find that your thoughts are still there, but you won’t feel them.
Please note it’s best to ask cabin crew for a glass of water before this practice.

4. Flexibility of spine: Cat Cow movement (Marjaryasana)

plane yoga

Concentrate on your breathing.

Instruction: On the edge of your seat, align your feet aligned with your hips. With your hands lightly on top of your thighs, inhale, and roll your shoulders to arch your chest upwards and outwards.

Look to the tip of your nose, and on your exhale, roll your spine forward. Allow your body to follow the flow and length of every breath. Continue for 10-20 breaths.

Benefit: This movement will enable you to free any tension or emotions that you may hold onto by releasing blockages within your spinal column. Cat-cow pose opens up your spine.

5. Balance and centre: Seated spinal twist (Ardha Matsyendrasana – variation)

plane yoga

Feel that stretch.

Instruction: On the edge of your seat, gently draw your right knee over your left knee. Bring your left hand onto your right knee, the other on the armrest.

As you inhale, keep your spine long, and turn towards your right side on your exhale. Breathe deeply for five breaths before repeating to the other side. 

 Benefits: This helps unravel daily stresses, getting into all those knots and tight areas, helping to alleviate the strain and creates lightness.

6. Wake up your legs: Leg and hip movement

plane yoga

Remember to have a good time.

Instruction: With your legs together in front of you, while you press your left foot firmly onto the floor, bend your right knee and carry your thigh close towards your chest, keeping a straight back.

Hold for five-10 breaths, before tilting your knee out to the side, opening your hips and lightly placing the opposite palm onto the sole of your foot.

Inhale deeply, pressing the knee towards the floor. Now exhale deeply but slowly, while raising your knee to your chest. Avoid forward bending.

Repeat 20 times on each leg and shake your legs to release.

Benefit: Creates mobility and takes pressure away from your knee joints.

7. Lengthen spine: Half forward bend

plane yoga

Reach for the skies.

Instruction: On the edge of your seat, press your feet firmly onto the ground, aligned with hips. Keep your spine upright.

Inhale to raise your arms, and exhale to fold your body halfway forward out in front of you. Keep your breath slow, feet pressing down, shoulders relaxed and chin tucked.

Benefit: This pose turns you inward, to a calm and quiet place. It strengthens your back muscles and lengthens your spine.

8. Shoulder releasing: Eagle arms (Garudasana)

plane yoga

Let your mind follow your body.

Instruction: Stretch your arms straightforward, parallel to the floor, and spread your shoulder blades wide across your back.

Cross your right arm above your left, bending your elbows. Now snug the right elbow into the crook of the left, and raise your forearm.

The backs of your hands should face each other, until you press the right hand to the right and the left hand to the left, so they cross and the palms face each other.

The thumb of the right hand should pass in front of the little finger of the left. Now press the palms together and — as much as is possible for you — lift your elbows up, and stretch the fingers toward the ceiling. Stay for 15-30 seconds, unwind, and then repeat with the arms reversed.
Benefit: This open shoulder joints, increases circulation to all joints and improves digestion.

9. Shoulder stretch: Cow faced arms (Gomuktasana)

plane yoga

Look straight ahead.

Instruction: Inhale while outstretching your right arm. Rotate your arm inwardly, and then move it backwards, with your palm facing the ceiling.

With a full exhale, sweep the arm behind your torso and tuck the forearm in the hollow of your lower back, parallel to your waist. Roll your shoulder down, and then work the forearm.

The back of your hand will now be in between your shoulder blades.

Now inhale and stretch your left arm forward, parallel to the floor. Turn the palm up and, with another inhalation, stretch the arm straight upward, palm turned back.

With an exhalation, bend the elbow and reach your left hand down to your right hand, locking fingers if possible.

Stay in this pose about one minute. Release the arms and repeat opposite.

Benefit: This pose increases your range of motion in your shoulder joints, stretches your chest, shoulders and inner armpits.

10. Shoulder opening: Interlocked hands

plane yoga

And stretch.

Instruction: Stand at the exit or aisle with your feet aligned to your hips. Roll your shoulders back as you slowly interlock your hands behind your back. Keep your chin tucked and back straight.

With your feet pressing firmly into the floor, press your fists down and away from your body. Breathe deeply and hold for five-10 breaths before releasing.

Benefit: Creates openness into your shoulders, strengthens arms and keeps your upper body mobile.

11. Rejuvenate and calm: Standing forward bend (Uttanasana)

plane yoga

See how far you can go.

Instruction: Stand with your feet hip distant apart. From your hips, tilt forward with your knees and just let your arms hang down, placing one hand onto each elbow.

Press your feet firmly on the floor and take 10 deep breaths, then stand up slowly.
Benefit: Forward bends lengthen your spine.

12. Energize and revitalize: Thigh stretch

plane yoga

Keep your balance.

Instruction: Lift your right foot off the floor and bend your knee so your lower leg is behind your body. Carefully grasp your right ankle with your right hand and pull straight up until your heel is by your butt. Hold for five-10 breaths before switching sides.
Benefit: Stretching your quadriceps.
 

13. Ground and focus: Tree (Vrksasana)

plane yoga

Relax your mind.

Instruction: With your feet together, bring your weight onto your left side. When you inhale, bring your right foot onto your left anklebone, with your knee out wide.

Looking ahead, press the inner side of your foot into your inner thigh, holding your pose.

Your hands can stay on your hips –- alternatively, when you inhale, bring your arms in front of your chest into prayer.

While Exhaling, release your foot and arms back down. To challenge yourself further, you could even close your eyes for inner balance and clarity.

Hold for five-10 breaths, and repeat on the other side.
Benefit: This pose is perfect to keep your feet firmly grounded. When ‘in the moment’, this stability gives us clarity

14. Courage and determination: Warrior 1 (Virabhadrasana I)

plane yoga

Give yourself courage.

Instruction: Start in the middle of the aisle, with your feet together. Lunge your left leg back, one leg distant and pressing into the balls of your foot. Keep your back leg straight and front knee bent.

Raise your arms with palms touching, and shoulders down and relaxed. Gaze to one point to help with your balance. Breathe deeply for five breaths or more before changing sides.
Benefits: 
This pose will work all those leg muscles you forgot you had. So breathe deeply, hold these poses and, as it goes, make your dreams reality.

15. Foundation and strength: Mighty (Utkatasana)

plane yoga

Your strength is all yours.

Instructions: Stand up and bring your feet and knees together. As you exhale, bend your knees and raise your arms, bringing palms together. (Optionally, you could reach to the sides to extend your arms). Breathe deeply for five-10 breaths. Release to standing and repeat another three times.

Benefits: Strong legs keep you grounded, even while flying. This chair pose builds muscle tone in the lower half of your body. It’s a strong pose, so breathe slowly and stand up at any time.

16. Revitalize and oxygenate: Lateral stretch (Parighangasana variation)

plane yoga

You can do whatever you want.

Instruction: Stand, with your feet hip distant apart, and inhale as you raise your right arm skyward. When you exhale, keeping your chin tucked, lean over to left side, and if you keep your body parallel, you should feel a stretch on your side if you do not lean forward or back. Hold for five-10 breaths before repeating the other side. 

Benefits: This side-stretching pose lengthens the muscles between the ribs and pelvis, including the lower back. It opens the sides of the rib cage, improving rib cage mobility and lung expansiveness, which makes breathing easier in all situations -– particularly in a plane.

17. Embrace and be free: Warrior 111 (Virabhadrasana III)

plane yoga

Flying gives you the freedom of your dreams.

Instructions: Level 1: Stand in an exit area (or aisle), bend down to touch your fingertips to the floor, slightly ahead of your feet. Activate your legs as you step your left leg back, one leg distant, with your toes on the floor.

Level 2: Keeping your fingers lightly on the floor, raise your left leg off the floor. Keep your front leg knee bent if your back is tender.

Level 3: As you firmly press down into your base foot and leg lift your fingers away from the ground and swing your arms back by your side.

Hold the pose as gracefully as you can, breathing deeply for 5 breaths, before repeating on the other leg.

Benefits: This is an advanced pose, so don’t worry too much if you stay with the easier variation and build from there when you’re ready. Take the challenge to be brave and say what you feel, especially with those everyday situations that can be a little confronting at times.

18. Take a stroll

Alternatively, when the seat belt sign goes off, perhaps take a stroll around the cabin to shake and move your legs every few hours.

By practicing yoga regularly, your body will stay truly healthy and limber as you embrace and live life. 

Words and poses in this story by Charlotte Dodson, www.charlottedodson.com

Photography by Louisa Seton, www.Isimages.com.au

Hair and makeup by Desiree Wise, fashion by tluxe.com

Special thanks to Etihad Airways who provided the airplane and security for this shoot. Etihad Airways flies into Australia among its global destinations, www.etihadairways.com

Read more: Airplane yoga: 18 exercises for healthy flying | CNNGo.com http://www.cnngo.com/sydney/visit/plane-yoga-18-exercises-healthy-flying-910157#ixzz1do5GaQL5

Protect what you love!

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Jersey beach art championship

November 11, 2011 | Words By: Staff Writer

TWOTHIRDS Sentinel Sam Dougado’s stunning work won the Beach art championships recently held in Jersey.

Wonderful beach art – patterns and sculptures in the sand – came to Jersey big time. The first MyMemory.com World Beach Art Championship took place in the Island off the coast of Normandy where beach artists from around the world created masterpieces in the sand that only lasted until the next high tide.

TWOTHIRDS Sentinels are people who live for the ocean, world famous or unknown. They put their talent and passion into protecting and preserving our oceans. Essentially, they are informal ambassadors flying the flag of TWOTHIRDS in a variety of subcultures, such as surf, music, film, art and environmental activism.

Protect what you love!

For those folk music lovers and surfers

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A sweet video in Gotland, Sweden of surfers hitting up the cold icy waters. They are gonna need some yoga to warm up ;-)

a painting as a present

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I like when I can please people with a gift that I made. So for my sister in-laws 30th birhtday I painted a picture. She had found a couple of old paintings and asked if I painted. She mentioned it would be nice to have one in green, so I surprised her with a nice oil painting. Sometimes I wonder why I did not go into art.

surfs up! Biggest wave ever surfed!

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Homemade Chai

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By Tiffany Cruikshank

There’s nothing more tasty than a warm cup of homemade chai when the cold weather kicks in. This is my own personal favorite chai recipe that I will vary as needed to mix it up from time to time. The ginger and cardamon are good for the digestion to keep the digestive fire strong in the winter. The fresh ginger is also a good stimulant for the immune system in the cooler weather. The cinnamon is good for circulation and will also help balance the blood sugar. I prefer the nut milk to add a little protein and nutty flavor but you can make it with regular milk as well.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tsp cardamon pods
  • 1 tsp cardamon powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 5 tsp black tea of your choice (I usually use Assam or you can also
  • use Rooibos for a decaf chai)
  • 1/2″ or 1″ of fresh ginger grated
  • Small handful of cashews and 2-3 brazil nuts
  • Water
  • Honey to taste

In a French Press:

First I make the tea mixture by combining the first 4 ingredients in a small container. Then lightly crush the cardamon pods within the mixture and shake to mix it all together. You can double or triple this mix so you don’t have to make it every time.

Take nuts & 2 cups of water and blend on high until it looks like milk with little if any debris at the bottom. Then boil the milk as you boil some water in a teapot.

Put about 3-4 Tbls of the tea mix in the french press and then add the fresh ginger & honey (1tsp-1Tbls). Once the milk & water are to a boil pour them both in and let it sit for about 10mins then enjoy!

In a Pot:

This is the more traditional way and it cooks the ginger a little better so you can taste it more.

First I make the tea mixture by combining the first 4 ingredients in a small container. Then lightly crush the cardamon pods within the mixture and shake to mix it all together. You can double or triple this mix so you don’t have to make it every time.

Take nuts and 2 cups of water and blend on high until it looks like milk with little if any debris at the bottom and set aside.

Boil about 4 cups of water in a pan and then add 3-4 Tbls of the tea mixture and simmer for 5-10mins. Then bring back to a full boil and add the ginger while boiling for 30 seconds.  Add milk & honey to taste, do not bring back to a boil just warm enough for your liking. Strain and enjoy!

If you prefer to buy the tea already mixed or to try a new mixture, check out Townshends Tea. It’s a local favorite here in Portland, my favorites are the Alberta Chai (smokey very unique flavor) and the more traditional Masala Chai but they are all fantastic depending on what you’re in the mood for.

Enjoy!

Published 11.10.11 at 03:30 PM

About Tiffany Cruikshank
Tiffany is the Acupuncturist and Yoga Teacher at the Nike World Headquarters in Portland, Oregon, runs 200 and 500 hour yoga teacher trainings and has been featured in various articles, video and print ads including ads for Nike and Lululemon. She travels the globe inspiring people all over the world to live their lives to the fullest and her book, Optimal Health For A Vibrant Life, is a 30 day detox for yogis.

For more info go to TiffanyYoga.com or checkout her Facebook page

Today’s Yoga

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Ahhh fall is really setting in here. I must say it seems like yesterday there were a lot less leaves on the ground and the sun was shining. This is my first fall, well first real fall that I get to actually live the changing of the season. I am from Florida. The north to be exact, and there we get cold weather and the leaves fall, but it happens differently. Our weather is only really cold at night time. Plus it feels like our fall happens in a week. Then its winter. Or one could say our winter is what Northerners would call fall.

So now I am here with in Germany where the winter is slowly making its way and every morning on my bike ride to school it is colder. I am not really sure how I will react when its freezing and I am on my bike, but time will tell. Ohhh man, I am excited and not really excited to live winter. Snow is exciting till you have to shovel it.

During todays weather, and after watching the leaves dance in the chilly wind. I decided to turn the little room heater up and did a bit of yoga to get me warmed up and cozy. After all I am still working on my arm work. I took pictures of postures that I love being in. I even did a handstand on the wall to show myself and you guys that I am coming along. It just takes time.

I do have to confess I have been a bit overwhelmed with school (bad excuse), but my new German course started and my routine has changed a bit. This is my last real class for German (YAY!!!). It is the “mother tongue” level, so I am a bit stressed, because I really want to succeed. This is when you tell yourself… it does not help if you stress yourself over it. Well, I find that when stress is around, just sitting and waiting for the storm to pass is a good idea. Which means I get LAZY. This right here is the problem and why my stress grows. What I am going to try to do is maintian my compsure as we do in our poses, even when they are uncomfortable. Life is not always comfortable, and how you work through it is the key. I need to face it and show it who is boss. I need to focus and watch the magic. I can get lots done when I just do it.

That said, have you ever done a check back on your progress. When you feel like you cant keep your focus on something, a project or yoga, or you feel like you are getting nowhere just do a progress check. Look back every 10-15 minutes and see how far you came. It is a good way to encourage yourself to finish and focus.

Question of Thought #4

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If you had an opportunity to get a message across a large group of people what would it be?

If I had an opportunity to get a message across a large group of people it would be… Live everyday to your fullest. We take our days for granted sometimes. We need to remind ourselves to stop and smell the roses, climb a tree, hop a fence, and walk down the path less traveled. I say this, but I forget sometimes too. We are human, but its like meditation. We drift sometimes and we just have to refocus on how our breath naturally comes in and out to refocus. We need to do this with our lives and live everyday like it is our last.

What do you like to do on Sundays?

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What do you like to do on Sundays? For us Sunday means it is the last day to chill before the big Monday comes around, so we try to really take advantage of it. We get the last things done around the house after a relaxed breakfast and then when the weather is good, we do something outside. Here great weather it getting harder and harder to find, so when the sun shines you better take the opportunity to enjoy it.

For us the weatherman said RAIN… uuhhhgg! The whole weekend full of rain. But between the rain we were lucky to find some sunshine. So we went to a place down the street… well somewhat down the street. This is a special place and it is beautiful on a sunny day. There are 7 old mills along in a big spread out area, but one in particular is still up and running, and is super cute. You can get there by bike from our house in 10-15 minutes, up and down hills. By car 5 minutes. Walking 30, which I like to do, but when rain is a threat don’t chance it. So I suggested bikes, since we needed a refreshing activity, but we took the car since my Husbands tires were to old on his bike.

So when we drove up, parked, and walked the 5 minute path from the parking lot laughing about the cute kids running around. This place is always full of life, and there are donkeys, cows, chickens, horses, and cats always up to something. The mill is called the Donkey mill, but really name Eselmühle in Swabian German. There is a organic store underneath a cafe which has a huge garden with cute tables scattered throughout it. There is a restaurant and of course a place to pet the animals and toys for the kids.

So we sat and enjoyed some cake, coffee, and a stroll around the area on one of the last semi warm and sunny days in Fall.

A Fall Veggie Casserole

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Before I was on to this veggie recipe I was prepping the plants for a cold winter by potting the ones I love and bringing them inside or racking around the annuals. My husband was cleaning out the basement so we can store our summer porch items away for the winter time. Plus we hung curtains finally, and with so much doing and doing one really works up a hunger. So I made two veggie casseroles for dinner.

For my Sunday recipe I cooked a vegetable casserole and it was addictingly yummy. It was colorful and full of wholesome veggies. Perfect for getting the vitamins up to par. Plus what is easy here is that all you have to do is prep it and then put it all together and pop it in the oven. My kitchen always winds up clean on the between time. Thats why I like this, because I can do something else while it is cooking.

First you need a few potatoes. I used 5, but they were medium size. I chopped them up and boiled them to get them mostly cooked through. While they were boiling I cleaned and chopped the peppers, carrots, and tomatoes. As well, I sliced the mushrooms and then prepped the sauce. In the sauce I started with 1 cup mayo, 3 eggs, 1/3 cup milk and threw in some spices. Cayenne pepper, oregano, salt, pepper, yellow curry and some minced garlic. On the second casserole I left everything the same except added chopped pineapple (that was delicous), and to the sauce an indian curry paste, and left out the garlic. After all mixed and placed into the ceramic backing pan I covered it with cheese to seal in the flavor. Then in an oven preheated to 350 I left them cook for 20 minutes, or until cheese is browning a bit. We gobbled this up till we were stuffed. The leftovers will be easy to cook as well, just place them into the oven for 10 minutes.

Enjoy, and let me know how it goes.

Question of thought #2

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What inspires you? Why does it inspire you?

My inspiration is kind of a list. I love doctors that have made discoveries to cure things, or help cure horrible illnesses. I am inspired by successful people that have found what they are good at. People that are happy and love life. I could keep going, but I think dinner would never get cooked. So I will name my yoga inspiration. It is Tiffany Cruikshank at the moment. When I see a picture of her in a pose I am ready go jump in to a 30-60 minute yoga practice. I want to be balanced and centered enough to be able to that. I can do it, I am going to do it to. I just have to practice and let it come when it comes, and not force it.

So what inspires you?

Question of thought #1

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Southeast Oahu showing Hawai i Kai, Hanauma Ba...

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What is you favorite memory?

Curious what other people said click here!

I myself have so many that it is ridiculously hard to say which memory is my favorite. I would say at the top of my head that it is the memory of me and my husband sitting on the beach around sunset laid back in some chairs on Oahu in Hanauma Bay. Drinking a rum and coke and watching the sun go down. This is when he popped the question and made my life a wonderful part of his. Its funny how decisions change paths in life instantly. This memory is vivid in my head and I love reliving it. It makes my day when I remember all the memories that I love.

Tell us, what is your favorite memory? I hope it brings a smile to your face.

Working on Arm Balancing

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Have you ever seen a successful arm balance done? If not then check out Tiffany Cruickshank. She is a wonderful yogi that I stumbled upon one day. I just saw one black and white picture of her in an arm balance pose with a thoughtful expression and wanted to know who this is and how to get to this point in my practice. I have followed a few of her classes that stream on yogoglo.com out of Santa Monica. She really is practical when it comes to the practice and guiding students to strengthening themselves in many aspects such as life, their body, and mentally.

Since I discovered Tiffany I have been discovering my own arm balancing. Well, in general balancing, but more often on my hands, head and arms then before. The core is the main part engaged in any balance, and this requires me to really focus on building my core. http://vimeo.com/28054647

What I struggle with the most is my hamstrings and remaining flexible in my legs and simultaneously using my core to balance everything upside-down. So I preform yoga moves to stretch the hips, hamstrings and quads. In fact all of the basics do this. That is why the goods guys don’t forget their roots and always check back in on the basic moves.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tRjKEpkghsk&feature=related

There are different tools to help with any balancing. I like to use a wall for one, because it helps to find the center without falling.  I found that I could bring myself up to the position and get my body acquainted with the feeling of being upside-down. Plus the control of getting up there is my big struggle. When I power up or kick up it is almost always to powerful. This is why the core is important in order to control by slowly raising and lowering the legs.  Second tool I use is a pillow or folded blankets as a safety. It is more for the mental aspect. I think less of falling and it hurting when I have this bumper. It works great for the crow pose.

I will be posting pictures of my arm balances to show that it only takes practice till you get there. Hard work prevails., and I encourage others to post their pics of arm balances, headstands, and shoulder stands to show what you can do and what all your hard work has done for you.

Finding the right Yoga class

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Finding the right class for yoga can be sometimes easy and sometimes difficult. It all depends on where you are and your connections. As for me, I am new here in town and I have no clue studios fit to me, and my practice. Plus I have to locate which ones best fit my budget and my travel abilities. I don’t have a car so I rely on my two feet, a bike and the local transportation.

As for finding the one that fits me and who I am can be difficult and fun. First of all it is a discovery of your practice. You go a test class to see how the teaching is and what the focus are. Meanwhile you are learning the different styles of teaching and discovering something new. Some love music while practicing, and others love the breath of fire to get warmed up. It is interesting and a part of learning.

All though going to every different studio can be time consuming and frustrating, it is curious what each studios background is and discovering different aspects and styles of teaching. For example, I went to a studio yesterday to check out the German yoga world for the first time. I was excited and nervous all at the same time. I was unsure how my language skills would go with my relaxation. Will I understand everything? I have only been here 7 months and that is how long I have been speaking it too. Although I do feel I get along well with the language, taking a class where I have to relax and focus on the words was interesting.

When I search for a class I try to find a power yoga type of class. Something in the realm of vinyasa flow class is also good.  So as I am looking at studios I try to go to a class like this so that I am not doing something that will turn me away or bore me. Not that yoga bores me when it is slow, but I like to test my body’s boundaries and do more strenuous poses in order to challenge my self. Of course it is important to remember not to push yourself to hard. One must go slow and do what they can, but also find the moments to test the boundaries. In a class that is easy going I find it hard to find those moments.

I have a few other places on my list to try that are near by, but none that are easily accessible by bike, or foot. In the mean time I practice at home with what I know. I try to work on the areas of my body that I know hold me back from certain poses, and find my balance in the harder ones. Plus I discovered yogaglo.com where one can follow a class online. It is as if you are at the studio with most videos, or you are having a private one on one class. The only part missing is someone correcting your alignment. This is what I find important for yogis. Even some teachers like to be checked out to make sure the alignment is correct. There is always room for improvement.

How did you find your studio that you go to? Did a friend refer you or did you just see it as you walk home everyday? How does your teacher teach and what makes your favorite teacher your favorite. We all enjoy someone’s style of teaching more than another’s. We are human. How do you get to class? By car, by foot or by bike and how long does it take you?

Life’s ever changing ways

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Love Fest in Stuttgart, Germany

Love Fest in Stuttgart, Germany

So since my last postings (Which was a long ass time ago) We have been up to a lot. To recap I am a Floridian living in Stuttgart for the last 2 and a half years. I love it hear and the language, but the homesickness comes and goes (especially in winter). I finally had a chance last year to make it home for summer and spend a whole month there. It was great I felt like I had never left and the day to day activities were like going back in time. Skating, surfing, going from house to house of all my friends. Coffee shop hang outs and lots and lots of time in the sun.

When I finally came home, and after a couple weeks we realized we were expecting. Unfortunately it was going to come between my yoga Teacher Training with Tiffany Cruikshank. She is and probably always will be my yoga muse. My inspiration for yoga.

But… when does a baby happen at the right time? You try and fail and witness others who don’t try succeed unintentionally to start a family. Life works in funny ways.

Those 9 months were about figuring things out, floating and enjoying the last days of being an individual. Just like when I was home just floating on by skating, surfing and hanging out. With a baby you are a new person. You change in a way. You become a mother and your ideas , priorities, and life changes. It changes in a good way, but it takes time to understand this change.

We had our little bundle of joy on March 9th 2013. It was an amazing experience and it still is. His name… Finn Taylor Huth. He is now 4 and a half months old and is learning daily about this big world around him. He is starting to explore it more and more. Watching him change is amazing itself.

“Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change.”

My life here was getting hard. I was getting depressed because the new culture has proven to be hard. People are closed off here in the south of Germany. Making friends and friends that you really connect with was hard. I felt lonely a lot. Some how the world I live in now, although it’s the same, is better and full of friends and people and a constant partner in crime, although he is small and dependable on me he is my sunshine that I lack on this part of the world.

So this October we are going to do the Teacher Training with Tiffany, because change in life doesn’t need to change your success in following your dreams.

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What I’ve been up to this past year

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What I've been up to this past year

We have anew edition. This is Finn Taylor Huth. He is 4 and a half months today. More info to come…

How to: Make Colorful Snowflakes from Trash!

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Time to get in the holiday spirit. I already started my baking and cooking for a christmas party. Now lets move to my favorite part. Decorating. Inexpensively prefred. Check out theses colorful snowflakes.

Brought to you by Manmadediy.com by Chris

How to: Make Colorful Snowflakes from Trash!

created at: 11/23/2010

created at: 12/09/2011

The clever Michele of Michele Made Me shows you how to cut these intricate, colorful snowflake, created from something we all have way too much of already…   

Junk mail! It’s amazingly thrifty, and looks surprisingly colorful and non-advertisement-like when all sliced up.

Learn more about how it’s done at Michele Made Me

Can you walk around the world? This man did!

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Peace for the children of the world

“On August 18th, 2000, at 9:00 am, Jean Béliveau left Montreal, Canada. His goal is to walk around the planet to promote “Peace and non-violence for the profit of the children of the world”. He is travelling alone with a three-wheeled stroller that holds a bit of food, his clothing, a First Aid kit, a small tent and a sleeping bag.

Jean plans to walk across the continents, from North America to South America, then across to South Africa, up to Europe, then the Middle East, South and Eastern Asia, Australia, New Zealand and finally back to Canada.

This 11 years journey is in support of the United Nations proclamation: 2001-2010 – International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-violence for the Children of the World”

http://wwwalk.org/en/

http://wwwalk.org/en/portraits.html

LIFE AFTER THE WWWALK!

“And I thought it would be easy… I suppose I was being naïve as always… As I should have expected we have been overcome with a tsunami of requests for interviews with the media, book publishing, public speaking, etc. Each and all more fascinating than the next but taking all of our time. For the first 2 weeks, we were cooped up home with Jean talking on the phone or in a media studio speaking to listeners or viewers all over the planet. The third week was a bit less hectic with the media as the news of Jean’s return was fading gradually.It was really a terrific experience but we soon discovered that we were not able to deal effectively with all of it. We needed help, professional help and we have been lucky enough to find quality help rapidly. We are now in the process of transferring our files so the “after-walk” may be organized: public speaking, books, philanthropy, etc.On the other hand, there is a ton of things to be done at personal level. After such a long absence from Quebec, Jean has to get back in “the system”! Health Care card, Drivers licence and the likes have to be applied for.Unfortunately, we did not yet have time to update the photos on the website but we should get to it as soon as we can. We will also need new pages for the website as it looks that the “after-walk” will be quite busy with regard to Jean’s public appearances, book publication, etc. Until these new pages are online, we invite you to browse the LATEST NEWS regularly as it is there that you will find all information on Jean’s activities.”

Surviving the Holidays and Staying Healthy

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By Tiffany Cruikshank

In the world we live in everyone wants a quick, easy solution, well here you go. Want to stay healthy through the New Year? All you have to do is one (or two) simple things…

Just to put the disclaimer out there this may not be an easy task but the clarity and simplicity that it provides will make it easier for you to stick to it.

Phase 1 - So here you go, if you want to STAY healthy through the holidays first and foremost you must limit sugar, alcohol and bread. These three items are the biggest offenders for your metabolism and your energy level.  I recommend limiting it to just one day of the week, this will allow you to enjoy the yuletide festivities but it will also keep the festivities contained for damage control. Try not to go overboard though, be moderate. You might find that after doing it for a couple weeks you don’t want your day of indulgence. I know it’s hard to believe but once you feel what it’s like to feel really good you may not want to continue. But don’t think about that yet.

If you want to actually feel BETTER through the holidays then add in this second portion as well. If the first part was enough then stop reading now, or perhaps the first part was too daunting and you want to skip that part and just do the section below.

Phase 2 - Make sure you exercise daily, even if it’s just for 10 minutes. The most important thing is the frequency of your exercise rather than the duration. Your metabolism is like a fire and the best way to keep it going strong is to stoke it regularly. If you think you don’t have time that day, think again. Try 10 minutes of: jumping jacks or push ups and sit ups or if you do yoga try 10 minutes of sun salutations adding in triple chaturangas between and then holding handstand at a wall for 60 seconds and end with some push ups in wheel. Whatever you want that will get you going quickly will work, now’s not the time for anything fancy. Then change it up every couple days or just when you need to.

Happy Healthy Holidays!

Published December 6, 2011 at 4:30 PM

About Tiffany Cruikshank
Tiffany is the Acupuncturist and Yoga Teacher at the Nike World Headquarters in Portland, Oregon, runs 200 and 500 hour yoga teacher trainings and has been featured in various articles, video and print ads including ads for Nike and Lululemon. She travels the globe inspiring people all over the world to live their lives to the fullest and her book, Optimal Health For A Vibrant Life, is a 30 day detox for yogis.

For more info go to TiffanyYoga.com or checkout her Facebook page

12 Things Happy People Do Differently

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by Jacob Sokol of Sensophy

“I’d always believed that a life of quality, enjoyment, and wisdom were my human birthright and would be automatically bestowed upon me as time passed.  I never suspected that I would have to learn how to live – that there were specific disciplines and ways of seeing the world I had to master before I could awaken to a simple, happy, uncomplicated life.”
-Dan Millman

Studies conducted by positivity psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky point to 12 things happy people do differently to increase their levels of happiness.  These are things that we can start doing today to feel the effects of more happiness in our lives.  (Check out her book The How of Happiness.)

I want to honor and discuss each of these 12 points, because no matter what part of life’s path we’re currently traveling on, these ‘happiness habits’ will always be applicable.

  1. Express gratitude. – When you appreciate what you have, what you have appreciates in value.  Kinda cool right?  So basically, being grateful for the goodness that is already evident in your life will bring you a deeper sense of happiness.  And that’s without having to go out and buy anything.  It makes sense.  We’re gonna have a hard time ever being happy if we aren’t thankful for what we already have.
  2. Cultivate optimism. – Winners have the ability to manufacture their own optimism.  No matter what the situation, the successful diva is the chick who will always find a way to put an optimistic spin on it.  She knows failure only as an opportunity to grow and learn a new lesson from life.  People who think optimistically see the world as a place packed with endless opportunities, especially in trying times.
  3. Avoid over-thinking and social comparison. – Comparing yourself to someone else can be poisonous.  If we’re somehow ‘better’ than the person that we’re comparing ourselves to, it gives us an unhealthy sense ofsuperiority.  Our ego inflates – KABOOM – our inner Kanye West comes out!  If we’re ‘worse’ than the person that we’re comparing ourselves to, we usually discredit the hard work that we’ve done and dismiss all the progress that we’ve made.  What I’ve found is that the majority of the time this type of social comparison doesn’t stem from a healthy place.  If you feel called to compare yourself to something, compare yourself to an older version of yourself.
  4. Practice acts of kindness. – Performing an act of kindness releases serotonin in your brain.  (Serotonin is a substance that has TREMENDOUS health benefits, including making us feel more blissful.)  Selflessly helping someone is a super powerful way to feel good inside.  What’s even cooler about this kindness kick is that not only will you feel better, but so will people watching the act of kindness.  How extraordinary is that?  Bystanders will be blessed with a release of serotonin just by watching what’s going on.  A side note is that the job of most anti-depressants is to release more serotonin.  Move over Pfizer, kindness is kicking ass and taking names.
  5. Nurture social relationships. – The happiest people on the planet are the ones who have deep, meaningful relationships.  Did you know studies show that people’s mortality rates are DOUBLED when they’re lonely?  WHOA!  There’s a warm fuzzy feeling that comes from having an active circle of good friends who you can share your experiences with.  We feel connected and a part of something more meaningful than our lonesome existence.
  6. Develop strategies for coping. – How you respond to the ‘craptastic’ moments is what shapes your character.  Sometimes crap happens – it’s inevitable.  Forrest Gump knows the deal.  It can be hard to come up with creative solutions in the moment when manure is making its way up toward the fan.  It helps to have healthy strategies for coping pre-rehearsed, on-call, and in your arsenal at your disposal.
  7. Learn to forgive. – Harboring feelings of hatred is horrible for your well-being.  You see, your mind doesn’t know the difference between past and present emotion.  When you ‘hate’ someone, and you’re continuously thinking about it, those negative emotions are eating away at your immune system.  You put yourself in a state of suckerism (technical term) and it stays with you throughout your day.
  8. Increase flow experiences. – Flow is a state in which it feels like time stands still.  It’s when you’re so focused on what you’re doing that you become one with the task.  Action and awareness are merged.  You’re not hungry, sleepy, or emotional.  You’re just completely engaged in the activity that you’re doing.  Nothing is distracting you or competing for your focus.
  9. Savor life’s joys. – Deep happiness cannot exist without slowing down to enjoy the joy.  It’s easy in a world of wild stimuli and omnipresent movement to forget to embrace life’s enjoyable experiences.  When we neglect to appreciate, we rob the moment of its magic.  It’s the simple things in life that can be the most rewarding if we remember to fully experience them.
  10. Commit to your goals. – Being wholeheartedly dedicated to doing something comes fully-equipped with an ineffable force.  Magical things start happening when we commit ourselves to doing whatever it takes to get somewhere.  When you’re fully committed to doing something, you have no choice but to do that thing.  Counter-intuitively, having no option – where you can’t change your mind – subconsciously makes humans happier because they know part of their purpose.
  11. Practice spirituality. – When we practice spirituality or religion, we recognize that life is bigger than us.  We surrender the silly idea that we are the mightiest thing ever.  It enables us to connect to the source of all creation and embrace a connectedness with everything that exists.  Some of the most accomplished people I know feel that they’re here doing work they’re “called to do.”
  12. Take care of your body. – Taking care of your body is crucial to being the happiest person you can be.  If you don’t have your physical energy in good shape, then your mental energy (your focus), your emotional energy (your feelings), and your spiritual energy (your purpose) will all be negatively affected.  Did you know that studies conducted on people who were clinically depressed showed that consistent exercise raises happiness levels just as much as Zoloft?  Not only that, but here’s the double whammy… Six months later, the people who participated in exercise were less likely to relapse because they had a higher sense of self-accomplishment and self-worth

I love it when chicks rock the surfing scene!

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Great Article from Drift Srufing.eu

The Roxy Pro – Surf, Art and Music

July 05, 2011 | Words By: Roxy

For the first time in the history of professional surfing, Roxy brings together the world’s best women surfers and the elite women longboarders at the Roxy Pro, 11-17th July in Biarritz.

The ASP women’s world longboard event traditionally runs in Biarritz at this time, but in addition this year is a leg of the ASP women’s world tour, which assembles the top 17 women shortboard surfers from around the globe.

The Roxy Pro – Surf, Art and Music

The event offers a dream line-up including:

Stephanie Gilmore (Aus) – four-times World Champion, Sally Fitzgibbons (Aus) – World number 2 in 2010, French star Lee-Ann Curren (wildcard), as well as the exceptional ‘siren’ of noseriding Jennifer Smith (USA) and the double World Longboard Champion and surfing icon Kassia Meador (USA).

This pinnacle of women’s surfing also features an open, free public festival, that brings together surf, art and music. On the program is a huge, live, free concert to enjoy barefoot in the sand at the Port Vieux in Biarritz on July 16th. This year, Orange presents a tempting pop line-up with: Pendentif, Lilly Wood & The Prick and The Sounds… plus a DJ set from Estelle S.

Another feature is the ‘New Wave’ art exhibition, dedicated to Californian art. Bringing together original works by Californian artists inspired by surf culture and the ‘VENUS’ project which has mobilized dozens of artists around the fight against breast cancer.

Not forgetting the Quiksilver foundation space, which opens its charity shop and honours the Skeleton Sea collective, exhibiting an imposing Albatross made from discarded plastic collected on the beaches.

Lastly, the week will have a daily offering of free surfing lessons available to the public, demonstrations of tandem and canoe surfing, parties, rider signing sessions and the spectacular Biarritz
fireworks.

Got surfing on the mind

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Yoga in an Airplane?!

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Yeah thats right. Now is the time of the year for long hauls. For me a flight from Germany back to my home town Jacksonville, Florida. I am reallllyyyy excited, but I am dreading the 8-9 hour flight. It is alway dry and long and stuffy. Sitting the whole time is a no go unless I am laid back in 1st class (Which I am not). So I looked up some yoga ideas for an airplane ride.

Airplane yoga: 18 exercises for healthy flying

Don’t enjoy flying as much as you should? You’re tired at your destination? These 18 exercises will set you straight

By Charlotte Dodson (words and poses) and Louisa Seton (images) 9 September, 2011

plane yoga

Welcome to plane yoga. Breathe deeply now.

You can practice yoga anywhere, including when traveling on an aircraft.

By performing just a few simple moves, you give yourself a multitude of benefits: it will stretch you out, massage your internal organs, improve circulation and relieve anxiety you may experience before and during your flight.

Follow these next simple moves to keep you calm, refreshed and comfortable when traveling. It will enable you to stay limber, especially when sitting on a plane for long hours.

To feel energized and relaxed during your flight, participate in these healthy body shapes whilst seated or in the aisle. That way you’ll be able give more at your destination.

So here’s a start: Breathe deeply through your nostrils with your spine upright, belly active, and chin tucked gently into your throat. Do this for about five breaths. Remember to be kind, and not to force your breathing at any time.What follows are 18 exercises for a healthy flight.

In your seat:

1. Your anchor: Easy sitting, deep exhales (Sukhasana)

plane yoga

Keep your back straight.

Instruction: Sit cross-legged, close your eyes and bring your hands into a prayer position. Take a few long deep inhales, and sigh deeply when you exhale, to release any unwanted tension. After repeating a few times, concentrate on breathing naturally.Slowly begin to move your right hand (fingers face up) to the side as you exhale, following the movement with your eyes, and as you exhale, draw the hand to meet back into prayer at your chest.

Repeat the same on your left side and continue as slow as you can for five-10 rounds.

Benefits: Feelings of anxiety that are mental overloads can easily be dissolved by releasing an excess of built-up stress upon your exhalation breath, and keeping your mind anchored onto your breathing pattern. It relaxes you while you sit.

2. Neck release: Neck rolls

plane yoga

Be gentle now.

Instructions: On the edge of your seat, keep your spine upright and shoulders rolling back. Rest your hands lightly rest on top of your thighs. As you inhale, stretch your head back gently and on your exhale softly allow your head to rotate forwards.Keep this slow rotational movement all in one direction five times and then softly repeat in the opposite direction. 

Benefits: When sitting for long periods of time, create mobility into your upper body. We can carry a lot of tension in neck and shoulders.

3. Emotional release: Hands under armpits (Padadhirasana)

plane yoga

Close your eyes, if you wish.

Instruction: Sit cross-legged, place your arms across your chest and lock your hands under your armpits. Keep your thumbs pointing upwards. Raise your shoulders without cramping your neck muscles. With your chin tucked and lips closed, breathe deeply and slowly through both nostrils for three-11 minutes.Benefits: This pose promotes a calm mind. You’ll find that your thoughts are still there, but you won’t feel them.
Please note it’s best to ask cabin crew for a glass of water before this practice.

4. Flexibility of spine: Cat Cow movement (Marjaryasana)

plane yoga

Concentrate on your breathing.

Instruction: On the edge of your seat, align your feet aligned with your hips. With your hands lightly on top of your thighs, inhale, and roll your shoulders to arch your chest upwards and outwards.

Look to the tip of your nose, and on your exhale, roll your spine forward. Allow your body to follow the flow and length of every breath. Continue for 10-20 breaths.

Benefit: This movement will enable you to free any tension or emotions that you may hold onto by releasing blockages within your spinal column. Cat-cow pose opens up your spine.

5. Balance and centre: Seated spinal twist (Ardha Matsyendrasana – variation)

plane yoga

Feel that stretch.

Instruction: On the edge of your seat, gently draw your right knee over your left knee. Bring your left hand onto your right knee, the other on the armrest.

As you inhale, keep your spine long, and turn towards your right side on your exhale. Breathe deeply for five breaths before repeating to the other side. 

 Benefits: This helps unravel daily stresses, getting into all those knots and tight areas, helping to alleviate the strain and creates lightness.

6. Wake up your legs: Leg and hip movement

plane yoga

Remember to have a good time.

Instruction: With your legs together in front of you, while you press your left foot firmly onto the floor, bend your right knee and carry your thigh close towards your chest, keeping a straight back.

Hold for five-10 breaths, before tilting your knee out to the side, opening your hips and lightly placing the opposite palm onto the sole of your foot.

Inhale deeply, pressing the knee towards the floor. Now exhale deeply but slowly, while raising your knee to your chest. Avoid forward bending.

Repeat 20 times on each leg and shake your legs to release.

Benefit: Creates mobility and takes pressure away from your knee joints.

7. Lengthen spine: Half forward bend

plane yoga

Reach for the skies.

Instruction: On the edge of your seat, press your feet firmly onto the ground, aligned with hips. Keep your spine upright.

Inhale to raise your arms, and exhale to fold your body halfway forward out in front of you. Keep your breath slow, feet pressing down, shoulders relaxed and chin tucked.

Benefit: This pose turns you inward, to a calm and quiet place. It strengthens your back muscles and lengthens your spine.

8. Shoulder releasing: Eagle arms (Garudasana)

plane yoga

Let your mind follow your body.

Instruction: Stretch your arms straightforward, parallel to the floor, and spread your shoulder blades wide across your back.

Cross your right arm above your left, bending your elbows. Now snug the right elbow into the crook of the left, and raise your forearm.

The backs of your hands should face each other, until you press the right hand to the right and the left hand to the left, so they cross and the palms face each other.

The thumb of the right hand should pass in front of the little finger of the left. Now press the palms together and — as much as is possible for you — lift your elbows up, and stretch the fingers toward the ceiling. Stay for 15-30 seconds, unwind, and then repeat with the arms reversed.
Benefit: This open shoulder joints, increases circulation to all joints and improves digestion.

9. Shoulder stretch: Cow faced arms (Gomuktasana)

plane yoga

Look straight ahead.

Instruction: Inhale while outstretching your right arm. Rotate your arm inwardly, and then move it backwards, with your palm facing the ceiling.

With a full exhale, sweep the arm behind your torso and tuck the forearm in the hollow of your lower back, parallel to your waist. Roll your shoulder down, and then work the forearm.

The back of your hand will now be in between your shoulder blades.

Now inhale and stretch your left arm forward, parallel to the floor. Turn the palm up and, with another inhalation, stretch the arm straight upward, palm turned back.

With an exhalation, bend the elbow and reach your left hand down to your right hand, locking fingers if possible.

Stay in this pose about one minute. Release the arms and repeat opposite.

Benefit: This pose increases your range of motion in your shoulder joints, stretches your chest, shoulders and inner armpits.

10. Shoulder opening: Interlocked hands

plane yoga

And stretch.

Instruction: Stand at the exit or aisle with your feet aligned to your hips. Roll your shoulders back as you slowly interlock your hands behind your back. Keep your chin tucked and back straight.

With your feet pressing firmly into the floor, press your fists down and away from your body. Breathe deeply and hold for five-10 breaths before releasing.

Benefit: Creates openness into your shoulders, strengthens arms and keeps your upper body mobile.

11. Rejuvenate and calm: Standing forward bend (Uttanasana)

plane yoga

See how far you can go.

Instruction: Stand with your feet hip distant apart. From your hips, tilt forward with your knees and just let your arms hang down, placing one hand onto each elbow.

Press your feet firmly on the floor and take 10 deep breaths, then stand up slowly.
Benefit: Forward bends lengthen your spine.

12. Energize and revitalize: Thigh stretch

plane yoga

Keep your balance.

Instruction: Lift your right foot off the floor and bend your knee so your lower leg is behind your body. Carefully grasp your right ankle with your right hand and pull straight up until your heel is by your butt. Hold for five-10 breaths before switching sides.
Benefit: Stretching your quadriceps.
 

13. Ground and focus: Tree (Vrksasana)

plane yoga

Relax your mind.

Instruction: With your feet together, bring your weight onto your left side. When you inhale, bring your right foot onto your left anklebone, with your knee out wide.

Looking ahead, press the inner side of your foot into your inner thigh, holding your pose.

Your hands can stay on your hips –- alternatively, when you inhale, bring your arms in front of your chest into prayer.

While Exhaling, release your foot and arms back down. To challenge yourself further, you could even close your eyes for inner balance and clarity.

Hold for five-10 breaths, and repeat on the other side.
Benefit: This pose is perfect to keep your feet firmly grounded. When ‘in the moment’, this stability gives us clarity

14. Courage and determination: Warrior 1 (Virabhadrasana I)

plane yoga

Give yourself courage.

Instruction: Start in the middle of the aisle, with your feet together. Lunge your left leg back, one leg distant and pressing into the balls of your foot. Keep your back leg straight and front knee bent.

Raise your arms with palms touching, and shoulders down and relaxed. Gaze to one point to help with your balance. Breathe deeply for five breaths or more before changing sides.
Benefits: 
This pose will work all those leg muscles you forgot you had. So breathe deeply, hold these poses and, as it goes, make your dreams reality.

15. Foundation and strength: Mighty (Utkatasana)

plane yoga

Your strength is all yours.

Instructions: Stand up and bring your feet and knees together. As you exhale, bend your knees and raise your arms, bringing palms together. (Optionally, you could reach to the sides to extend your arms). Breathe deeply for five-10 breaths. Release to standing and repeat another three times.

Benefits: Strong legs keep you grounded, even while flying. This chair pose builds muscle tone in the lower half of your body. It’s a strong pose, so breathe slowly and stand up at any time.

16. Revitalize and oxygenate: Lateral stretch (Parighangasana variation)

plane yoga

You can do whatever you want.

Instruction: Stand, with your feet hip distant apart, and inhale as you raise your right arm skyward. When you exhale, keeping your chin tucked, lean over to left side, and if you keep your body parallel, you should feel a stretch on your side if you do not lean forward or back. Hold for five-10 breaths before repeating the other side. 

Benefits: This side-stretching pose lengthens the muscles between the ribs and pelvis, including the lower back. It opens the sides of the rib cage, improving rib cage mobility and lung expansiveness, which makes breathing easier in all situations -– particularly in a plane.

17. Embrace and be free: Warrior 111 (Virabhadrasana III)

plane yoga

Flying gives you the freedom of your dreams.

Instructions: Level 1: Stand in an exit area (or aisle), bend down to touch your fingertips to the floor, slightly ahead of your feet. Activate your legs as you step your left leg back, one leg distant, with your toes on the floor.

Level 2: Keeping your fingers lightly on the floor, raise your left leg off the floor. Keep your front leg knee bent if your back is tender.

Level 3: As you firmly press down into your base foot and leg lift your fingers away from the ground and swing your arms back by your side.

Hold the pose as gracefully as you can, breathing deeply for 5 breaths, before repeating on the other leg.

Benefits: This is an advanced pose, so don’t worry too much if you stay with the easier variation and build from there when you’re ready. Take the challenge to be brave and say what you feel, especially with those everyday situations that can be a little confronting at times.

18. Take a stroll

Alternatively, when the seat belt sign goes off, perhaps take a stroll around the cabin to shake and move your legs every few hours.

By practicing yoga regularly, your body will stay truly healthy and limber as you embrace and live life. 

Words and poses in this story by Charlotte Dodson, www.charlottedodson.com

Photography by Louisa Seton, www.Isimages.com.au

Hair and makeup by Desiree Wise, fashion by tluxe.com

Special thanks to Etihad Airways who provided the airplane and security for this shoot. Etihad Airways flies into Australia among its global destinations, www.etihadairways.com

Read more: Airplane yoga: 18 exercises for healthy flying | CNNGo.com http://www.cnngo.com/sydney/visit/plane-yoga-18-exercises-healthy-flying-910157#ixzz1do5GaQL5

Protect what you love!

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Jersey beach art championship

November 11, 2011 | Words By: Staff Writer

TWOTHIRDS Sentinel Sam Dougado’s stunning work won the Beach art championships recently held in Jersey.

Wonderful beach art – patterns and sculptures in the sand – came to Jersey big time. The first MyMemory.com World Beach Art Championship took place in the Island off the coast of Normandy where beach artists from around the world created masterpieces in the sand that only lasted until the next high tide.

TWOTHIRDS Sentinels are people who live for the ocean, world famous or unknown. They put their talent and passion into protecting and preserving our oceans. Essentially, they are informal ambassadors flying the flag of TWOTHIRDS in a variety of subcultures, such as surf, music, film, art and environmental activism.

Protect what you love!

For those folk music lovers and surfers

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A sweet video in Gotland, Sweden of surfers hitting up the cold icy waters. They are gonna need some yoga to warm up ;-)

a painting as a present

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I like when I can please people with a gift that I made. So for my sister in-laws 30th birhtday I painted a picture. She had found a couple of old paintings and asked if I painted. She mentioned it would be nice to have one in green, so I surprised her with a nice oil painting. Sometimes I wonder why I did not go into art.

surfs up! Biggest wave ever surfed!

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Homemade Chai

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By Tiffany Cruikshank

There’s nothing more tasty than a warm cup of homemade chai when the cold weather kicks in. This is my own personal favorite chai recipe that I will vary as needed to mix it up from time to time. The ginger and cardamon are good for the digestion to keep the digestive fire strong in the winter. The fresh ginger is also a good stimulant for the immune system in the cooler weather. The cinnamon is good for circulation and will also help balance the blood sugar. I prefer the nut milk to add a little protein and nutty flavor but you can make it with regular milk as well.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tsp cardamon pods
  • 1 tsp cardamon powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 5 tsp black tea of your choice (I usually use Assam or you can also
  • use Rooibos for a decaf chai)
  • 1/2″ or 1″ of fresh ginger grated
  • Small handful of cashews and 2-3 brazil nuts
  • Water
  • Honey to taste

In a French Press:

First I make the tea mixture by combining the first 4 ingredients in a small container. Then lightly crush the cardamon pods within the mixture and shake to mix it all together. You can double or triple this mix so you don’t have to make it every time.

Take nuts & 2 cups of water and blend on high until it looks like milk with little if any debris at the bottom. Then boil the milk as you boil some water in a teapot.

Put about 3-4 Tbls of the tea mix in the french press and then add the fresh ginger & honey (1tsp-1Tbls). Once the milk & water are to a boil pour them both in and let it sit for about 10mins then enjoy!

In a Pot:

This is the more traditional way and it cooks the ginger a little better so you can taste it more.

First I make the tea mixture by combining the first 4 ingredients in a small container. Then lightly crush the cardamon pods within the mixture and shake to mix it all together. You can double or triple this mix so you don’t have to make it every time.

Take nuts and 2 cups of water and blend on high until it looks like milk with little if any debris at the bottom and set aside.

Boil about 4 cups of water in a pan and then add 3-4 Tbls of the tea mixture and simmer for 5-10mins. Then bring back to a full boil and add the ginger while boiling for 30 seconds.  Add milk & honey to taste, do not bring back to a boil just warm enough for your liking. Strain and enjoy!

If you prefer to buy the tea already mixed or to try a new mixture, check out Townshends Tea. It’s a local favorite here in Portland, my favorites are the Alberta Chai (smokey very unique flavor) and the more traditional Masala Chai but they are all fantastic depending on what you’re in the mood for.

Enjoy!

Published 11.10.11 at 03:30 PM

About Tiffany Cruikshank
Tiffany is the Acupuncturist and Yoga Teacher at the Nike World Headquarters in Portland, Oregon, runs 200 and 500 hour yoga teacher trainings and has been featured in various articles, video and print ads including ads for Nike and Lululemon. She travels the globe inspiring people all over the world to live their lives to the fullest and her book, Optimal Health For A Vibrant Life, is a 30 day detox for yogis.

For more info go to TiffanyYoga.com or checkout her Facebook page

Today’s Yoga

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Ahhh fall is really setting in here. I must say it seems like yesterday there were a lot less leaves on the ground and the sun was shining. This is my first fall, well first real fall that I get to actually live the changing of the season. I am from Florida. The north to be exact, and there we get cold weather and the leaves fall, but it happens differently. Our weather is only really cold at night time. Plus it feels like our fall happens in a week. Then its winter. Or one could say our winter is what Northerners would call fall.

So now I am here with in Germany where the winter is slowly making its way and every morning on my bike ride to school it is colder. I am not really sure how I will react when its freezing and I am on my bike, but time will tell. Ohhh man, I am excited and not really excited to live winter. Snow is exciting till you have to shovel it.

During todays weather, and after watching the leaves dance in the chilly wind. I decided to turn the little room heater up and did a bit of yoga to get me warmed up and cozy. After all I am still working on my arm work. I took pictures of postures that I love being in. I even did a handstand on the wall to show myself and you guys that I am coming along. It just takes time.

I do have to confess I have been a bit overwhelmed with school (bad excuse), but my new German course started and my routine has changed a bit. This is my last real class for German (YAY!!!). It is the “mother tongue” level, so I am a bit stressed, because I really want to succeed. This is when you tell yourself… it does not help if you stress yourself over it. Well, I find that when stress is around, just sitting and waiting for the storm to pass is a good idea. Which means I get LAZY. This right here is the problem and why my stress grows. What I am going to try to do is maintian my compsure as we do in our poses, even when they are uncomfortable. Life is not always comfortable, and how you work through it is the key. I need to face it and show it who is boss. I need to focus and watch the magic. I can get lots done when I just do it.

That said, have you ever done a check back on your progress. When you feel like you cant keep your focus on something, a project or yoga, or you feel like you are getting nowhere just do a progress check. Look back every 10-15 minutes and see how far you came. It is a good way to encourage yourself to finish and focus.

Question of Thought #4

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If you had an opportunity to get a message across a large group of people what would it be?

If I had an opportunity to get a message across a large group of people it would be… Live everyday to your fullest. We take our days for granted sometimes. We need to remind ourselves to stop and smell the roses, climb a tree, hop a fence, and walk down the path less traveled. I say this, but I forget sometimes too. We are human, but its like meditation. We drift sometimes and we just have to refocus on how our breath naturally comes in and out to refocus. We need to do this with our lives and live everyday like it is our last.

What do you like to do on Sundays?

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What do you like to do on Sundays? For us Sunday means it is the last day to chill before the big Monday comes around, so we try to really take advantage of it. We get the last things done around the house after a relaxed breakfast and then when the weather is good, we do something outside. Here great weather it getting harder and harder to find, so when the sun shines you better take the opportunity to enjoy it.

For us the weatherman said RAIN… uuhhhgg! The whole weekend full of rain. But between the rain we were lucky to find some sunshine. So we went to a place down the street… well somewhat down the street. This is a special place and it is beautiful on a sunny day. There are 7 old mills along in a big spread out area, but one in particular is still up and running, and is super cute. You can get there by bike from our house in 10-15 minutes, up and down hills. By car 5 minutes. Walking 30, which I like to do, but when rain is a threat don’t chance it. So I suggested bikes, since we needed a refreshing activity, but we took the car since my Husbands tires were to old on his bike.

So when we drove up, parked, and walked the 5 minute path from the parking lot laughing about the cute kids running around. This place is always full of life, and there are donkeys, cows, chickens, horses, and cats always up to something. The mill is called the Donkey mill, but really name Eselmühle in Swabian German. There is a organic store underneath a cafe which has a huge garden with cute tables scattered throughout it. There is a restaurant and of course a place to pet the animals and toys for the kids.

So we sat and enjoyed some cake, coffee, and a stroll around the area on one of the last semi warm and sunny days in Fall.

A Fall Veggie Casserole

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Before I was on to this veggie recipe I was prepping the plants for a cold winter by potting the ones I love and bringing them inside or racking around the annuals. My husband was cleaning out the basement so we can store our summer porch items away for the winter time. Plus we hung curtains finally, and with so much doing and doing one really works up a hunger. So I made two veggie casseroles for dinner.

For my Sunday recipe I cooked a vegetable casserole and it was addictingly yummy. It was colorful and full of wholesome veggies. Perfect for getting the vitamins up to par. Plus what is easy here is that all you have to do is prep it and then put it all together and pop it in the oven. My kitchen always winds up clean on the between time. Thats why I like this, because I can do something else while it is cooking.

First you need a few potatoes. I used 5, but they were medium size. I chopped them up and boiled them to get them mostly cooked through. While they were boiling I cleaned and chopped the peppers, carrots, and tomatoes. As well, I sliced the mushrooms and then prepped the sauce. In the sauce I started with 1 cup mayo, 3 eggs, 1/3 cup milk and threw in some spices. Cayenne pepper, oregano, salt, pepper, yellow curry and some minced garlic. On the second casserole I left everything the same except added chopped pineapple (that was delicous), and to the sauce an indian curry paste, and left out the garlic. After all mixed and placed into the ceramic backing pan I covered it with cheese to seal in the flavor. Then in an oven preheated to 350 I left them cook for 20 minutes, or until cheese is browning a bit. We gobbled this up till we were stuffed. The leftovers will be easy to cook as well, just place them into the oven for 10 minutes.

Enjoy, and let me know how it goes.

Question of thought #2

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What inspires you? Why does it inspire you?

My inspiration is kind of a list. I love doctors that have made discoveries to cure things, or help cure horrible illnesses. I am inspired by successful people that have found what they are good at. People that are happy and love life. I could keep going, but I think dinner would never get cooked. So I will name my yoga inspiration. It is Tiffany Cruikshank at the moment. When I see a picture of her in a pose I am ready go jump in to a 30-60 minute yoga practice. I want to be balanced and centered enough to be able to that. I can do it, I am going to do it to. I just have to practice and let it come when it comes, and not force it.

So what inspires you?

Question of thought #1

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Southeast Oahu showing Hawai i Kai, Hanauma Ba...

Image via Wikipedia

What is you favorite memory?

Curious what other people said click here!

I myself have so many that it is ridiculously hard to say which memory is my favorite. I would say at the top of my head that it is the memory of me and my husband sitting on the beach around sunset laid back in some chairs on Oahu in Hanauma Bay. Drinking a rum and coke and watching the sun go down. This is when he popped the question and made my life a wonderful part of his. Its funny how decisions change paths in life instantly. This memory is vivid in my head and I love reliving it. It makes my day when I remember all the memories that I love.

Tell us, what is your favorite memory? I hope it brings a smile to your face.

Working on Arm Balancing

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Have you ever seen a successful arm balance done? If not then check out Tiffany Cruickshank. She is a wonderful yogi that I stumbled upon one day. I just saw one black and white picture of her in an arm balance pose with a thoughtful expression and wanted to know who this is and how to get to this point in my practice. I have followed a few of her classes that stream on yogoglo.com out of Santa Monica. She really is practical when it comes to the practice and guiding students to strengthening themselves in many aspects such as life, their body, and mentally.

Since I discovered Tiffany I have been discovering my own arm balancing. Well, in general balancing, but more often on my hands, head and arms then before. The core is the main part engaged in any balance, and this requires me to really focus on building my core. http://vimeo.com/28054647

What I struggle with the most is my hamstrings and remaining flexible in my legs and simultaneously using my core to balance everything upside-down. So I preform yoga moves to stretch the hips, hamstrings and quads. In fact all of the basics do this. That is why the goods guys don’t forget their roots and always check back in on the basic moves.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tRjKEpkghsk&feature=related

There are different tools to help with any balancing. I like to use a wall for one, because it helps to find the center without falling.  I found that I could bring myself up to the position and get my body acquainted with the feeling of being upside-down. Plus the control of getting up there is my big struggle. When I power up or kick up it is almost always to powerful. This is why the core is important in order to control by slowly raising and lowering the legs.  Second tool I use is a pillow or folded blankets as a safety. It is more for the mental aspect. I think less of falling and it hurting when I have this bumper. It works great for the crow pose.

I will be posting pictures of my arm balances to show that it only takes practice till you get there. Hard work prevails., and I encourage others to post their pics of arm balances, headstands, and shoulder stands to show what you can do and what all your hard work has done for you.

Finding the right Yoga class

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Finding the right class for yoga can be sometimes easy and sometimes difficult. It all depends on where you are and your connections. As for me, I am new here in town and I have no clue studios fit to me, and my practice. Plus I have to locate which ones best fit my budget and my travel abilities. I don’t have a car so I rely on my two feet, a bike and the local transportation.

As for finding the one that fits me and who I am can be difficult and fun. First of all it is a discovery of your practice. You go a test class to see how the teaching is and what the focus are. Meanwhile you are learning the different styles of teaching and discovering something new. Some love music while practicing, and others love the breath of fire to get warmed up. It is interesting and a part of learning.

All though going to every different studio can be time consuming and frustrating, it is curious what each studios background is and discovering different aspects and styles of teaching. For example, I went to a studio yesterday to check out the German yoga world for the first time. I was excited and nervous all at the same time. I was unsure how my language skills would go with my relaxation. Will I understand everything? I have only been here 7 months and that is how long I have been speaking it too. Although I do feel I get along well with the language, taking a class where I have to relax and focus on the words was interesting.

When I search for a class I try to find a power yoga type of class. Something in the realm of vinyasa flow class is also good.  So as I am looking at studios I try to go to a class like this so that I am not doing something that will turn me away or bore me. Not that yoga bores me when it is slow, but I like to test my body’s boundaries and do more strenuous poses in order to challenge my self. Of course it is important to remember not to push yourself to hard. One must go slow and do what they can, but also find the moments to test the boundaries. In a class that is easy going I find it hard to find those moments.

I have a few other places on my list to try that are near by, but none that are easily accessible by bike, or foot. In the mean time I practice at home with what I know. I try to work on the areas of my body that I know hold me back from certain poses, and find my balance in the harder ones. Plus I discovered yogaglo.com where one can follow a class online. It is as if you are at the studio with most videos, or you are having a private one on one class. The only part missing is someone correcting your alignment. This is what I find important for yogis. Even some teachers like to be checked out to make sure the alignment is correct. There is always room for improvement.

How did you find your studio that you go to? Did a friend refer you or did you just see it as you walk home everyday? How does your teacher teach and what makes your favorite teacher your favorite. We all enjoy someone’s style of teaching more than another’s. We are human. How do you get to class? By car, by foot or by bike and how long does it take you?

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